Missing in the Midwest: Winter
January in Chicago is the bleakest, grayest, slushiest, snowiest, and saddest of months. There is nothing to do, nowhere to go. We’re usually snowed in, or iced in or a funky combination of the two. Like the time I thought there was just a thick flocking of harmless, brush off-able snow on my car, but really it was completely encrusted in ice and THEN it snowed on top of that impermeable glacier-ette. No fine pair of boots or coat that, while elegant and also covers one's rear, can make January bearable.
But so far this January, though, nothing is happening. No snow, no slush, the temperatures have hovered in the 40s and not a Chicagoan alive would complain about that, but the plants are confused and so am I. Where is winter? Most lawns look positively autumnal, especially if you “forgot” to do your fall clean up, like I did. I had annuals (Like Superbena® Royale Peachy Keen) that survived until I performed a mercy killing. I don’t think I like this “neither here nor there” sort of season, that’s why I live HERE. I don’t “do” subtle*! When it's hot, it's BLISTERING! When it's cold? Everybody freaks out!
Without a good dusting of snow, what truly IS beautiful about living here in winter; the lacy patterns of the branches of trees, the stick-straight Pucker Up™ Red Twig Dogwoods the ignored-in-summer Soft Serve® False Cypress evergreens, cardinals and chickadees and the bright blue,cloudless sky... Totally on hold. Like someone hit the pause button on Madame Nature’s Tivo!
Well, here’s hoping it gets nasty out there. A million Chicagoans barely know how to act...
*But, if this is the way it’s going to stay- well, break out the zone 6 and 7 plants and let’s start living it up!
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